This project is a full metal grill designed to look like a dragon. The purpose if this project to combine both art and practical use into one project. The topic and challenge that were used in designing and building this grill was the topic of kitchen creation, and the challenge was make it friendly. The challenge make it friendly means that I build this over the course four hours with a friend, but I had to make the work equally divided between us because I didn't have to show her how to do anything, and our skill sets were better in different parts of the project. An example of this was that I could bend and shape the metal in the forge, while she could weld the small pieces in positions I would typically struggle with.
Step 1: Getting Started: Tools and Materials
To get started you should have a basic idea of what you want your grill to look like. Things such as horns, scales, and teeth. A good first step should be drawing out the design of the grill, and work through what is reasonable within your budget. Then after that take your design and make a cardboard or foam core model to start getting the measurements down, and see what it would look like compared to your drawing. As you can see we toned it down quite a bit because we only had four hours to build the grill, and we weren't allowed to cut out the pieces before hand. If you are able to or want to you can add a step in between drawing and the foam model by making a 3-D model to get an idea of the measurements of the body.
Now, That you have finished planning out your design, you need to get all of your tools and materials. The tools you will need are: a MIG welder, an angle grinder with a cutting blade, a steel forge, a maker, and a r ruler. The materials you will need will be be pretty much all steel and a steel grit that goes inside over the charcoal. to be more specific you will need two steel plates for the top and bottom of the grill. The size would be dictated on how you big you want it, but ours is around a 16 by 25 inch size sheet once we cut it out. As the sides and the other pieces we went with some strips of steel the length of them are dictated by how much you need. We had two strips that were 4.5, 2.5, and 3. It is usually good to scale up because you will be cutting and grinding it down along the way. Last is that you will be needing a door hinge or two to put on the back of the grill so then you are able to open and close it.
Step 2: Cutting and Bending the Pieces You Need
Now, that we have all of the tools and materials you; we can now start assembling the entire grill. Since the base of the top and bottom of your grill are simple cut to out, and the only thing you would really do is cut the edges to get the shape. The other parts like the sides you will need to measure the sides of the base plates, add them up, and measure out the length on your 4.5 inch wide strip of steel. After that you take measurements of the sides of the base plates and mark where the edges are. There you will be not be cutting the piece apart, but cutting about half way or less where you marked the on the strip of steel. Once that is complete you will be bending the strip to fit the shape of the base plate. As you can see in the third picture it should fit the shape of how you cut your base plate. you should repeat that process twice for both the top and bottom part. Now, it is time to work on the details of the whole project. A good place to start is with the nose. You make 4, 3x2 inch strips which will serve as both the eyes and the nose. When you have them cut out you should start up the forge to start bending the pieces into shape. the nose pieces are a rounded U shape and the eyes should be a sharp V. For a better idea of the shapes you can look the pictures provided. The next pieces will be the the teeth which are just triangle cut out of any of the strips you have extra steel. varying sized teeth I think are very cool. Later on we realized that we needed a handle to open the grill so then we dug through some scrap and found a thin bar, so we ended up bending it so shape, luckily it doubles as a nose ring. The last pieces we cut out are the horns, we cut it out of the 4.5 inch piece. Oh! I almost forgot to mention that we are going for another layer to place on top of the head of the grill and that is just three pieces cut out of the 4.5 inch strip of steel.
Step 3: Putting It All Together, Then It's Time to Grill!!
Finally, you have everything cut to shape. All that is left to do is weld them together. All I can recommend is try and take your time. If you have any extra metal try doing some test welds so then you burn through your grill. Also before you start completely welding it together make some tacks, which are just little dots that get the job done at holding the pieces together, and makes it very forgiving for if you mess up. All you have to do is hit it with a hammer or even just bend it back and forth to break it apart. Now, you take the door hing to connect the top and bottom parts of your dragon head and weld it. Now, last is weld on a strip of metal any size on the inside to hold the metal grate that you cut to fit inside of the mouth of your grill, after that you should be done. Congratulations, you just made a grill. It may look similar if you followed the pictures or you didn't either way it looks good.